PM directs Biteko to work on fuel crisis

DODOMA: PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has directed his Deputy Dr Dotto Biteko to swiftly take action on fuel crisis by holding a meeting involving all stakeholders.

The Premier issued the directive to the newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister on Thursday, during the Prime Minister’s Questions session in Parliament after Rashid Shangazi (CCM- Mlalo) demanded the government’s response on measures it is instituting to address the crisis that is disrupting economic activities in the country.

In his question, Mr Shangazi raised concern on the fact that every week or two weeks before the announcement of new indicative prices by Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA), the commodity has been disappearing from the market.

The legislator asked the PM on the government strategy to ensure availability of fuel in the market and at reliable and predictable prices.

Mr Shangazi said it is unconceivable that immediately after EWURA has announced the new indicative prices fuel becomes available in petrol stations across the country.

The MP said the problem has been in existence since July this year, causing shortage in the market with unpredictable prices.

Before responding to the question, the Prime Minister admitted the problem, saying “It is true that we are facing the challenge of unavailability of fuel due to the fact that some petrol stations in some parts of the country don’t have the commodity.”

However, he said the Ministry of Energy and the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy and Minerals Committee have been collaboratively working to ensure fuel is available in the country.

The Premier said the Deputy Prime Minister Biteko, after the cabinet reshuffle carried out by President Samia Suluhu Hassan recently, has started meeting stockholders.

“Since the Deputy Prime Minister has started meeting stakeholders, I also direct him to work on this matter. What is important for now is to ensure fuel is available across the country,” he said.

The Prime Minister said it is important for the Deputy Prime Minister to meet officials from the Ministry of Finance, EWURA and Petroleum Bulk Procurement Agency (PBPA) and come up with the solution to the problem.

Meanwhile, National Assembly Speaker Dr Tulia Ackson has called upon the government to conduct thorough assessment and analysis on the current fuel importation system after proving to be problematic.

Dr Tulia made the call yesterday afternoon after Prime Minister Majaliwa directed Dr Biteko to hold a meeting by involving stakeholders, including the Ministry of Finance to look into the problem and come up with a solution.

According to Dr Tulia, it is important to establish the loopholes into the current fuel importation system and seal them, insisting that it is only by carrying out thorough assessment and analysis that the government can address the problem.

The government introduced petroleum bulk procurement system purposely to ease importation of petroleum products and promote efficiency in the sector.

Bulk Procurement System (BPS) is the system established pursuant to Petroleum Act and The Petroleum (Bulk Procurement System) Regulations, 2017 to govern the importation of petroleum product into the country.

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